This last article from our “Best Time to Post in 2017” series will be tackling Instagram. Once again, the findings were compared with the digital marketing performance of 30 Swiss universities’ accounts over the last 6 months. Here is what we found out.
There is no real bad day to post on Instagram, but Mondays do seem to generate more engagement. According to the graph extracted from Fanpage Karma, universities are the most active on Thursdays. We still need see how this influences engagement generated, but we can deduce from the series, that a majority of Swiss Universities are at their most active, throughout all three platforms, on Thursdays.
Optimal posting time stands around 8 am and 5 pm, the starting and finishing time of a standard day of work. The size of the bubbles shows that universities are more active around 3 pm but peaks in engagement, where the bubbles are greenest, occur more often at the end of the day and in the morning, excluding Fridays.
Focus on color themes and schemes
Today, more brands are on Instagram than Twitter, meaning user expectations are high. Your profile, or landing page, is the first impression viewers get and it has to be appealing. It starts with having a certain consistency in the color scheme as it helps give an identity to your page. In the pictures presented under, we can see a clear difference in branding between Audi and Dunkin’ Donuts: a darker and more sober palette gives a more luxurious aspect whereas DD’s colorful profile provides a feel of “joie de vivre”.
The third picture was extracted from ECAL to give an example of a higher ed account. Yes, higher ed content often tackles a variety of topics making it hard to stay consistent, but subtle details in a picture or video can make a big difference, invest time on finding your own subtle details. Making sure, for example, that the level of lightning is the same throughout most of your pictures and videos is a good start and don’t forget to subtly include your logo from time to time in order to increase branding without being too promotional.
Familiarize yourself with emojis and hashtags
Recent studies report that 7 out of 10 Hashtags are branded, and about 50% of text found on Instagram contains emojis. That being said, higher ed accounts have to approach emojis and hashtags very carefully for several reasons. It’s a language that is second nature to a portion of your audience, and a misused hashtag or emoji can quickly backlash. Another reason is that each emoji or hashtag has its own purpose, don’t use them for the sake of using them, you will look like that annoying parent that tries too hard to be “in”. The goal here is not to scare you away from using hashtags or emojis, because as long as you can make sense of it, it deserves its place in your caption.
Stick to the 80/20 rule
Not to confuse with the saying “80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers”, this rule entails that 80% or your content should be informational, educational and, in some ways, entertaining. The other 20% of your content can have a promotional aspect to it. How does that apply to swiss Higher Ed then since you rarely need to sell your program to students? It’s about providing clarity when it comes to the programs you offer, the student life experience, the less tangible and social benefits that is of interest to the wide variety of personas you cater to.
In a certain way, this means producing more “raw content”. Don’t take cover behind filters, stock photos or “clichés” just because it looks good. Let people into your day to day and if you do have something to be proud of, then do so within a timely period.